Seeing a need for a modern high-speed-gasoline-powered train car for short runs the Clark Equipment Company of Buchanan, MI constructed a pair of “AutoTram” Streamliners in 1932. The vehicle in the lead image weighed twenty-six thousand pounds and seated forty passengers in the all-aluminum alloy coachwork featuring a forced ventilation and heating system, it was constructed by the Aluminum Company of America.
For comfort and a smooth ride, the “AutoTram” featured Clark-Goodrich resilient wheels consisting of an inner rubber cushion and a cast steel wheel. Power for the train car was provided by an OHV Series 452 V-16 Cadillac engine producing one-hundred and sixty-five h.p. The three-inch bore by four-inch stroke engine was fed by two single-barrel updraft carburetors. A dual exhaust system exited below the tapered tail at the rear of the coachwork.
View an enlargement of the lead photo and two sectional enlargements (below) by Johnson & Johnson of Pittsburgh, PA for the Aluminum Company of America, courtesy of the Hagley Museum and Library. To learn more view a news clip film “The Torpedo Car” by British Pathe.
- 1933 Century of Progress Exposition photo of the smaller of the two “AutoTrams” that were constructed. Clark Equipment Company postcard (below) courtesy of Railarchive.net